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Friends, Family and Frustrations

I knew when I started dating my partner that he remained friends with his Ex. Over time, I became friendly with the Ex but not to a real deep level. Lately it seems the two of them are spending a lot of time together- should I be concerned?

During the time you got to know the Ex, did you have concerns that there may be some unfinished business between your partner and he? Right now in your relationship, do you have concerns about the connection between you and your partner? If the answer to both is no, then you most likely have nothing to be concerned about. If the answer to one or both is yes, a conversation between you and your partner is warrented. It’s always best not to borrow trouble that leads to suspicion when it can all be alleviated by having an honest dialogue with your partner.

My wife’s parents are coming for a long weekend, and I’m dreading every minute. They’re not the nicest toward me, and spending time with them is tedious at best.

Oh, the things we do for our other halves… it doesn’t have to be a horrible weekend if you try this approach… set the tone by killing them with kindness. It's hard even for the bitchiest parent to be rude in the face of happy. If one or both decide to forego the friendly and get bitchy, simply say nothing, raise an eyebrow and leave the room. Count to 20, take a deep breath, and remember you can handle anything for 62 hours. Chances are they will understand that you didn’t appreciate their words, and the next interaction will most likely be less bitchy. The staying power of the less bitchy behavior is the unknown, so if it happens again just repeat the approach.

If the bitchiness persists, you really have no option but to discuss this with your wife AFTER they leave. Not during the visit because the last thing you want to give your in-laws is a potential opportunity to see you and your wife at odds. Always provide that united front in the presence of the in-laws, and when they hit the road you should address their behavior to your wife and together find and implement a solution.

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